How to create a cyber security solution robust enough for enterprise adoption
Craig Templeton has over 22 years’ experience in the security field and is the Chief Information Security Officer at REA Group. He’s an advocate for innovation and recognises the challenges that come with pitching your cyber security solution to enterprise. Further to that, he understands just how robust your product needs to be in order to survive your potential customers’ due diligence process. Here he shares his recommendations for startup founders looking to have their solution adopted by enterprise.
1. Know your competition
If the market place already has players in your space, you need to be significantly better. It’s a big decision for enterprise to adopt a new solution, especially from a startup without a proven track record. If what they already have in place is doing a reasonable job, they’ll likely stick with the status quo. Established competitors may be able to hit a price-point you can’t compete with. Know your value proposition and hammer it home so it’s crystal clear who you are and why you’re better.
2. Have a low barrier to entry
How can you make it as easy as possible for enterprise to adopt your solution? And is your solution something that actually matters to them? Just because you’re solving a problem, doesn’t mean it’s a priority. The problem you’re solving has to be real and urgent, and the solution needs to be as easy to adopt as possible. A long and complicated integration process is off-putting for execs in any case, but especially when they’re taking a risk on a new-to-market brand. Make it worth the risk.
3. Care about business basics
Ensure your business documentation is of a high standard. Understand that your solution will be assessed against established competitors who have comprehensive, enterprise-level documentation. If your solution goes through procurement and if your documentation fails to meet the standard that enterprise expects, people start to get nervous. It matters, so be diligent. Don’t lose out on a deal just because the basics weren’t up to scratch.
4. Protect your brand reputation
As you hire, especially in the sales department, ensure a great cultural fit. The people representing your brand must reflect your philosophy, ethos and culture. CISOs see a lot of startups and vendors, and rely heavily on recommendations from others in their networks. Choose good people. Your product is in their hands.
5. Potentially find a secondary market
Does your solution work outside of cyber? What are the adjacent markets? Could your machine-learning capabilities help the marketing department or website performance optimisation? The CISO may not have the budget for you, but perhaps their marketing department does. And that could be your foot in the door for that enterprise customer. Think widely about how your solution could be adopted. Pivot as you need to.
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Craig Templeton brings over 22 years’ experience in the security field, having worked for a variety of blue chip organisations globally. With his no-nonsense approach, Craig is known for not conforming to traditional approaches to solving security problems. Craig sits on a number of advisory bodies and has association with research institutes in London, Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne and also participates in several cyber security start-up mentoring programmes, including CyRise. Craig assumed the role of CISO at digital property marketing company, REA Group, in Feb 2017.